Until 360 video cameras come with built-in stitching, the only option for live 360 video stitching and streaming at present is to stitch the output of individual camera heads in a 360 video camera array, into one single video, and do this live with a very powerful PC.
There are few available options at present for roll-your-own 360 video stitching, but we’ll keep this page updated as we hear of new solutions. If you know of a solution not listed below, please let us know.
360 Video Stitching Software
Vahana is the first commercially available live stitching solution on the market and hails from Videostitch – a well known maker of offline stitching software. Using a series of video capture cards, a PC, and Videostitch’s software, you can combine the outputs of a VR camera, and feed it to an RTMP stream or other for wider distribution.
Vahana is expensive (almost $2200 for a 1 year license) and has a reputation for being ‘fragile’ in use, but if you want professional grade live stitching, it’s the only standalone option on the market right now, and its reliability has come a long long way since its early Alpha/Beta versions.
360 Designs offers a reference hardware system for Vahana for professional use, which includes a full Vahana license.
Currently available as a public beta, StereoStitch offers the intriguing possibility of stereo (3D) live streaming, although we believe good quality (mono) 360 is vastly superior to poor quality stereo. The image quality is better.
Essentially you need more bandwidth for stereo, but bandwidth is constrained. You see this when you compare live streams from the likes of NextVR (stereo) with equivalent high quality mono streams. The mono streams just look better.
StereoStitch is far more basic than Vahana, but is better optimized for lower spec hardware, as its principals come from a mobile app development background. They are adding new features regularly, so it shows great promise.
StereoStitch will work in mono incidentally too, and is priced far more reasonably than Vahana, starting at $450 for a mono license.
One to watch…
Less well known than the others above, Owl Reality offers live 360 video stitching with some interesting features. We’ve just not tested it – yet.
Last updated: Feb 19th 2017